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2016-06-30 1:19 am

Marion Berry's House Member Office (D-AR-01) posted a Blog Post on June 30, 2016 | 1:19 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

2016-06-29 11:18 pm

Marion Berry's House Member Office (D-AR-01) posted a Blog Post on June 29, 2016 | 11:18 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

2016-06-29 9:19 pm

Marion Berry's House Member Office (D-AR-01) posted a Blog Post on June 29, 2016 | 9:19 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

2016-06-29 7:18 pm

Marion Berry's House Member Office (D-AR-01) posted a Blog Post on June 29, 2016 | 7:18 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

Upton Announces Opioid Conference Committee Meeting NEXT WEEK

The House Energy and Commerce Committee (R) posted a Press Release on June 29, 2016 | 5:20 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today announced that the House and Senate Opioid Conference Committee will meet Wednesday, July 6 at 10 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) appointed House conferees last month. “Those suffering from this tragic epidemic need our help now,” said Chairman Upton. “The House and Senate did their work to put forth thoughtful solutions to address the growing opioid epidemic. Next week we’ll continue that work by bringing the conferees together and moving one step closer to a final package of legislative solutions.” For a list of Energy and Commerce Committee members on the conference committee, or for a list of committee bills that passed the House, click HERE. ###

2016-06-29 5:19 pm

Marion Berry's House Member Office (D-AR-01) posted a Blog Post on June 29, 2016 | 5:19 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

Highlights from the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Hillary Clinton's State Department Office (D) posted a Blog Post on June 29, 2016 | 4:53 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

Last week, the United States hosted the seventh Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Stanford University in Silicon Valley. Over the course of three days, I had the privilege to witness firsthand how 700 entrepreneurs and 300 investors from 170 countries forged connections and found inspiration during GES 2016. I take great pride in the work of the office that I lead at the U.S. Department of State, the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs within the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, in helping ensure the success of GES 2016 as part of a team effort across the U.S. Government and with external partners. In the wake of GES 2016, it is worth reflecting on how GES began in the first place and what made GES 2016 so special.

Seven years ago, only 19 weeks into his presidency, in a landmark speech in Cairo, President Obama said that the world needed to "create a new corps of business volunteers to partner with counterparts … to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and … around the world."

To implement this vision, President Obama committed to holding Global Entrepreneurship Summits each year across the globe. Since 2010, an estimated 17,000 entrepreneurs, investors, foundations and entrepreneurship ecosystem stakeholders have participated in Global Entrepreneurship Summits in Washington, Istanbul, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Marrakesh, and Nairobi. For the final GES of the Obama Administration, it was thus appropriate to return to the United States and, specifically, to host GES in Silicon Valley — the world's leading center for innovation.

President Obama headlined the event and eloquently described how entrepreneurs "represent the upside of an interconnected world and all the optimism and the hope and the opportunity that that interconnected world represents." The President's most compelling statement, however, was his spending more than an hour on stage with a panel of three young entrepreneurs — asking about their aspirations and challenges. Many of the entrepreneurs and foreign officials remarked how they were struck by the informality of the interaction – something they had never seen their own heads of state do — and the personable manner in which the President elevated not just the entrepreneurs but also the very idea of entrepreneurship.

In his remarks, Secretary Kerry stressed the "close connection between what entrepreneurs and investors do" and what he and the President do "in terms of our foreign initiatives and efforts." He challenged the entrepreneurs at GES 2016 to harness and apply their energy and creativity to tackle three key policy challenges facing the world: extremism, climate change, and corruption.

The CEOs of Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Airbnb, and Uber, among many others, shared a firsthand account of their journeys as entrepreneurs. Google CEO Sundar Pichai reminisced about tinkering with his parents' rotary phone as a twelve year old in Chennai, India. AOL Founder Steve Case shared his "5Ps" for succeeding as an entrepreneur: purpose, place, partnership, policy, and perseverance.

Yet the real stars of the event were the 700 entrepreneurs themselves — half of whom were women — doing incredible work all over the world. One of my personal highlights was meeting with a group of young women from Africa and South Asia who had received training through "WECREATE Centers" that my office helps support around the world. Many of them have gone on to do incredible things such as founding "SheKab" — Pakistan's first shared taxi service for women.

Another highlight was joining a group of entrepreneurs in a policy hack competition sponsored by Dell to develop technology solutions to help refugees access language training and employment.

But GES was more than just about inspiration and ideas. It was also about connecting ideas with capital to make them a reality. That is why 300 investors, foundations, and venture capital firms were invited to GES 2016.

Over the course of the three days, many of them announced millions of dollars in commitments to support entrepreneurs throughout the world. Many of these announcements were made at our Global Launch Lounge, which I had the opportunity to host.

In one of the largest announcements, the California Public Employees' Retirement System announced that it would open an $11 billion fund to invest in entrepreneurs with strong potential for success that might be otherwise overlooked. In separate announcements, the Endeavor organization, Capria Ventures, and the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundations committed a total of $265 million to support entrepreneurship throughout the world. Following a pitch competition that same day, Obvious Ventures awarded a $50,000 prize to Stephanie Spiers for her Solstice Initiative, which aims to provide Americans with access to cheap solar energy.

As any entrepreneur will tell you, the hallmark of a successful venture is when it becomes self-sustaining. Fortunately, GES has become just that and will carry on into the next Administration. During his visit to Washington last month, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama announced that India will host the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit. To facilitate the Government of India's planning, we invited an official delegation to attend and observe GES 2016. My colleagues and I had the opportunity to meet with them on the sidelines of GES to discuss how we can best partner to ensure GES 2017's success. During the closing ceremony, as part of a formal passing of the baton, our Assistant Secretary for State for Economic and Business Affairs, Charles Rivkin, introduced the delegation who, in turn, extended a warm invitation to all the entrepreneurs gathered to participate in GES 2017 in India.

To institutionalize his administration's commitment to entrepreneurship, President Obama also issued an Executive Order on Global Entrepreneurship to coincide with GES 2016 that directs the U.S. government to continue its support for GES, led by the Department of State. The Executive Order further directs the Department of Commerce to be the lead administrator of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship Program that enables business leaders to advance policies that encourage entrepreneurship in the United States and around the globe.

In summary, GES 2016, in my view, represented the best of U.S. diplomacy: leading by example, bringing people together from around the world, and helping accelerate positive change. Over the past seven years, we have worked with partners around the world to painstakingly build the preeminent platform for entrepreneurs to connect with each other and with capital. I can't wait to see what ideas take flight and what India has in store for us in 2017.

About the Author: Ziad Haider serves as the Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Editor's Note: This blog also appears in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit publication on Medium.com.

For more information:


THE GREAT OBAMACARE HEIST: After Continued Stonewalling, Subpoena Issued on Unlawful Reinsurance Program

The House Energy and Commerce Committee (R) posted a Press Release on June 29, 2016 | 4:10 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
WASHINGTON, DC – Despite House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders granting the Obama administration one final chance to provide basic information regarding the Transitional Reinsurance Program, the administration has once again declined to cooperate and share information. Over the last several months, the committee has been investigating the administration’s illegal diversion of billions of taxpayer dollars to insurance companies to prop up Obamacare. The committee issued a subpoena today in an effort to break the administration’s stonewall and obtain important information. The text of the health law is clear. And in their May 2016 letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) wrote, “The Administration’s decision to divert payments intended for the U.S. Treasury to insurance companies contradicts past rules issued by the Administration and the clear intent of Congress.” The unlawful payments were discussed at a February 24, 2016, hearing, when Members referenced a memo from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, which concluded that the administration’s actions conflicted with the text of the law. Most recently, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee highlighted the administration’s illegal diversion at its April 15, 2016 hearing. Acting Administrator Slavitt testified at the hearing that the committee should expect documents pertaining to its request, “I think quite soon.” Since that hearing, only one document has been shared with the committee – a six-page document summarizing the final rule from CMS, with one short paragraph on the reinsurance program. Despite Acting Administrator Slavitt’s on-the-record commitments to produce the requested documents, on June 10, 2016, HHS sent a letter to the committee acknowledging that responsive documents exist, but it will not produce them. In refusing to produce the documents, the department cited the need to protect its “confidentiality interests,” and claimed that providing documents to Congress about these final rules would “have a chilling effect on future deliberations.” To date, HHS has not asserted any legal privileges—let alone a valid one—to justify withholding these final documents from Congress. “Congress should not have to issue subpoenas to gain basic facts, but sadly that’s become the case with the Obama administration,” said Chairman Upton. “Billions of dollars are being illegally diverted, and taxpayers are on the short end. We continue to seek basic information, including the legal justification for these unlawful payments. To withhold such answers is to deny the American people a basic accounting of their tax dollars, and the transparency this administration pledged. Our pursuit of the truth continues.” This document stonewall is just one of many from the administration regarding the president’s troubled health care law. The committee has also subpoenaed documents related to its investigations into how the administration is funding the Cost-Sharing Reduction program and the Basic Health Program. Read the subpoena HERE. ###  

2016-06-29 3:18 pm

Marion Berry's House Member Office (D-AR-01) posted a Blog Post on June 29, 2016 | 3:18 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

#SubEnergyPower to Examine the Impact of EPA Regulations on the American Energy and Industrial Sectors

The House Energy and Commerce Committee (R) posted a Press Release on June 29, 2016 | 2:41 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at 10 a.m. in 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “A Review of EPA’s Regulatory Activity During the Obama Administration: Energy and Industrial Sectors.” Since 2009, EPA has published over 3,900 final rules in the Federal Register. These rules apply broadly across the U.S. economy, including to the electricity, oil and gas, and manufacturing and industrial sectors. Among the rules issued are an expanding set of over 100 greenhouse gas related rules, including the agency’s “Clean Power Plan,” as well as other major rules affecting energy production and industrial activity.   Significant questions and concerns have been raised by the states and affected entities regarding the complexity, costs, legality, and feasibility of certain major agency rules, including rules affecting the electricity and oil and gas sectors. Members will examine these questions, implementation issues, and the potential cumulative impacts of the rules on these and other critical sectors of our economy.   The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted. ###
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